1 August 2022
Two days back I lit a butter lamp at the temple for my Christian friend to honour his departed soul. Light is a universal medium of blessing at all stages of life. It does not discriminate between life or death, happy or sad.
My late friend was a man of few words and not given to outward display of emotions.
Some years back, he quietly fed the cat taking refuge under his Volkswagen at his condo. He named him Winfred, and defended him when the neighbour accused the feline of spoiling the paintwork of his Mercedes Benz.
My friend took Winfred to the vet when he was ill, sheltered him when he needed a place to recover, and buried him in a safe place when he passed away so that the orange tabby would never have to stray.
Yesterday I made a donation in my late friend’s name to an animal shelter. He who made us sandwiches on long days at work and allowed me to ransack his work station for snacks & meji biscuits would have approved of money going to the dogs & cats too.
After helping the shelter, the thought of a specific animal rescuer who would appreciate some help came to mind. But I too have a budget to stick by.
Late last night I received a text message from a Catholic friend. She did not know of our Christian friend’s passing nor my wish to help the Muslim lady who works two jobs to help animals.
“Don’t know why but I suddenly had a feeling that I urgently need to transfer some money to you to help some animal,” she texted.
And the sum that my Catholic friend wanted to give away was the exact amount that the Muslim rescuer needed to cover some of the care expenses for an aging dog.
So today on Chokhor Duchen which marks the day when Buddha gave his first teaching, I want to share magic, generosity, kindness and trust in people around us and the ones who have gone before us.
Regardless of our heritage, may our life’s choices put us on the path of compassion & wisdom, for our benefit and the benefit of all sentient beings. 🙏